TornBy: Tristan Vaughan & Ellie Danes
An Alpha Billionaire Romance
Men seem to fall at my feet.
The problem is, it’s always the wrong ones. Liars, cheaters, arrogant a$$es.
They always seem to find me.
So it should be no surprise that when I drive two hours away from home to escape my cheating ex, two more men fall at my feet.
But this time it’s different.
They’re different. He’s different. I’m different.
I know better, or at least I should.
It was going to be a weekend to forget.
Instead it turned into a weekend to remember. Forever.
Now the men in my life are fighting over me, and I’m torn.
Who will I choose?
The ex love of my life that has promised me the world,
or the gorgeous billionaire that can give it to me?
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The trees were a blur as I drove down the highway. Luckily, traffic hadn’t gathered to the fervor I knew it would become on a Friday heading toward the coast. With the windows down, breeze blowing my hair around my face, and my playlist blaring on the radio, my thoughts were everywhere.
What had I done wrong? How can someone that I’d been so happy with just leave without a trace?
The last week had been one of the darkest I had experienced in my life.
That was my affectionate nickname for him. It had sprung from the first date we had, when we talked about what he had originally set out to do in life: become a lawyer. Lawyer Joe, I had teased him, and when I finally committed to saving his name in my phone, that was what he was: LJ. Because it always popped up when he texted or called thereafter, that was all I ever called him. Even his friends and family began calling him LJ. Happily (for him), he never finished his law degree, realizing that the life he wanted to live was full of less formality. He had used what was left of his living expenses from student loans and taken over the convenience store that his friend’s family was selling to move west. He’d never looked back. Just like now. He had left me and sold the business, and had not looked back.
A honk of the car beside me jolted me out of my thoughts and to the road, as I swerved back to my side of the dotted line. The sun coming in through my moon roof was becoming unbearably hot on my shoulder and face, but I needed the fresh air. A trip to the beach for the weekend was exactly what I needed. The warmth of the sun, the stickiness of the salt air would take away my feelings of emptiness. Maybe a jog along the beach one morning.
I closed my windows and roof as I began to head into the tunnel. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel system was one of the world's largest, and was called one of the non-ancient “wonders of the world.” Although the bridges were long and beautiful surrounding the tunnel system, the tunnels themselves always made me feel claustrophobic. I had many times used my odometer to monitor the exact mileage of the part of the tunnel I had to go through so that I knew which way to swim if the tunnel were to suddenly crack and flood with water.
In a sense, I was doing the same thing now with my emotions. Gauging if I should continue to swim backward and try to find LJ, or just move forward. Passing the halfway point, I audibly let out a sigh to myself. The decision was made for me. I was moving forward. The fish, Dory, from the movie Nemo, chanted her line in my head, to “just keep swimming.” Laughing out loud, I decided I was going crazy. I had fish talking in my head. Just great. Maybe that was why he left.
Because I made a point of making sure people said my name correctly, “Car - a, as in the vehicle, not Care - a” and I loved to drive around in my Volkswagen Golf R, he had put me in his phone as “car.” Now more than ever, I felt like that: an object that he loved, but one day just set aside.
The sign for Interstate 264 was finally in front of me. I was almost to the sand and warmth I desperately craved. I had booked a room at the Hilton, one of the newest and most expensive hotels on the beach. I may as well be comfortable while I was all alone. Never mind that now I was having to pay both his and my portion of our house payment. I’d bought the house for us in my name alone, as my credit was excellent and his was lower due to the debt he had taken on after purchasing the store. He was diligently working to pull it back up, and was never late giving me his portion of the payments, and he’d even paid all of the utilities for us.